The East of Singapore is normally not thought of as being popular with tourists as compared to central Singapore. Although large areas of the East are made up of housing estates, there are still a number of attractions that are worth the time and trouble of the more adventurous tourist. Perhaps the lack of tourists helps but the attractions in the East are typically more authentic and reflective of Singapore’s melting pot of cultures. No place best represents the melting pot of cultures in Singapore like Geylang. This area is much more than just a notorious red-light district as there are well-known eateries and religious buildings.
The Katong and Joo Chiat area is home to the Perankan culture. Other than authentic traditional Peranakan terrace houses, there are also a number of Peranakan restaurants selling traditional Peranakan dishes. Peranakan handicraft and products can also be purchased at the few shops in Katong specializing in all things Peranakan.
If the Katong and Joo Chiat area is home to the Peranakans, then Geylang Serai is the cultural hub of the Malays in Singapore. The newly revamped Geylang Serai Wet Market and Food Centre is still a good place to get a taste of the Malay culture.
It may be impossible to capture the essence of the Chinese culture in one particular building but the Loyang Tua Pek Kong temple in Changi comes close. Combine this temple with the sombre Changi Prison Museum and Chapel and the rustic and laid-back Changi Village, it is easy to see why Changi is a unique area of Singapore.
The East is not just a cultural hub; there is also a fun side to it. The long stretch of East Coast Park is home to sporting facilities like Ski360 and Marine Bowl. Jogging and cycling paths also run all along the park in addition to numerous eateries and bars facing the sea.